One EPIC East Coast Road Trip

We’re going on an EPIC East Coast Road Trip this summer… and we need your help!!

  • Do you think South of the Border in South Carolina is a must visit (we’ve never been!)?
  • Love to explore Virginia’s battlefields and presidents’ homes?
  • Do you go to NYC every chance you get or fly into Boston in the fall?

You get the picture. If you love anywhere on the East Coast, we’d love to hear about it!! Help us plan our EPIC East Coast Road Trip!

Epic East Coast Road Trip

There are a few stops we know we’ll hit. Do you have been-there-done-that tips for one of these?

  • South of the Border, SC
  • Florence, SC or nearby for a quick overnight
  • Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown
  • Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s home) or George Washington’s Mount Vernon
  • Appomattox Battlefield (Civil War)
  • All things New York City
  • Boston
  • anything along the loooong drive West from Boston to Niagra Falls
  • Niagra Falls: US side vs Canadian side… our passports aren’t updated… is it worth the $250 to do so?
  • then we’ll head south from Niagra Falls to Nashville, TN… stopping in Ohio


So that’s more or less our plan. It’s going to be one EPIC East Coast Road Trip!! We get to introduce our children to every step of US history… we get to compare Spanish colonization here in St. Augustine to English colonization in Jamestown, explore early Presidents’ homes, see revolutionary sites in Boston, walk Civil War battlefields, see Deco period architecture in NYC and take in natural wonders all along the way. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

If you want to keep up with our adventures, subscribe to my newsletter! I promise not to spam you… I’ll never post more than 3x a week and it’s usually more like 1x every other week.


  1. Laura says

    South of the Border is great for photo ops. And expensive tourist stuff. But worth a stop for the kids. My son loved it, and so did I as a kid.

    Also, its a bit north of your route (about one hour north of Albany), but look into visiting the Adirondack park in New York, even if you just do the southern edge (lake George region). You’ll never view New York the same. Lots of history, nature, amusement parks, wildlife, hiking, 2 of the most beautiful lakes in the US (#1 Lake George and #3 Lake Placid, where the ’80 Olympics were held).

    If you need to use the “facilities” while in the Times Square area of NYC, the M&M store is the spot. Just one of the tips I’ve learned over the years. LOL.

      • says

        I’m looking into the lakes now & seeing how it’ll affect our drive! Thanks!

    • says

      Oooh… great tips! I think South of the Border will be a fun, let-your-hair-down, instagrammable (for my 15 yo) stop. 😉 Glad to know that the cheese is lovable. LOL

      And good tip on the M&M store! I’ve heard the Lego store is good too. Is it any different from the Orlando one? ~Allie O.

      • Laura says

        Never made it to the Lego store….. The Nintendo store was a big hit for my (then) pre-teen.

  2. Pat says

    DC Smithsonian for kiddos! We do NYC before Christmas for shopping and theater.

  3. patricia kutyna says

    Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York deserves a look-see. Home of April, Oliver & their new baby giraffe son.

  4. Steve says

    I grew up near Appomattox and am a civil war buff, but would still recommend that you skip that part of your trip so you can spend more quality time other places. There is just very little to see there, with the exception of the building where Lee surrendered. If you do have an interest in the civil war, I would recommend Antietam and/or Gettysburg with your family. These battlefields look much as they did during the war so we used pictures from that period to help our children relate to the experience. Also, Monticello should prove to be a hidden gem on your trip as you will probably be amazed by everything Jefferson created there. And as an avid reader, I certainly hope you and your family have a wonderful time.

    • says

      GREAT advice, Steve! Thank you! As a self-proclaimed civil war buff, can you recommend a book or two we should read aloud together in preparation for our trip? ~Allie O.

  5. Ricci Christopher says

    You don’t need a valid passport to enter Canada. Bring expired ones and proof of birth and you’ll be fine. The CN side of Niagra is MUCH more impressive

    • says

      Interesting… I’ll look into that. When we researched it last week, I thought we adults had to have a *current* passport. Thanks for the tip… we’ll investigate! ~Allie O.

      • Jean Collins says

        You do have to have a current passport to get back to the US! I think the Canadian side has much better views and more things to see and do in that area.

  6. Ed Tabian says

    When heading north, get off I-95 in Virginia. I believe it’s exit 11A and go on highway 58 towards Virginia Beach. There, pickup the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. There’s a restaurant about 4 miles from the southern end of CBBT. Fantastic views of the bay and ocean. You never know what you might see. Also, on a sad note, the restaurant is closing in September to make way for tunnel expansion. If you want great authentic Chesapeake Bay crabcakes, this is your chance. Also, when you drive further north, you can pick up the Cape May-Lewes ferry in Delaware. This gets you to New Jersey after a 90 minute ride. This is much better than riding on I-95.You can also stop in Ocean City, MD too. Family friendly beach town.

    • says

      Thanks Ed! So much to research! I’m adding this to my list!! 🙂 ~Allie O.

  7. Jennifer says

    South of the Border was a bit of a disappointment since I went as a kid, but the kids enjoyed looking at the trinkets & shopping (oh and the photo ops on the old animal statues). 20-30 min top there, I would think.
    Not sure how many times you’ve driven through SC on 95 but be aware of “rolling police stops”. That’s where two officers get on the highway and slow everyone down to about 30 mph for a few miles and then they exit the highway, turn around and do it again. Very annoying.

    If heading near PA, consider Hershey/Gettysburg area. There’s the Amish country and a couple of older amusement parks.

    Must see the Neptune statue at Virginia Beach!!

    • says

      Neptune Statue? Sounds intriguing! So do the cops drive side by side and literally block traffic? That sounds illegal! Crazy! We’ll drive safely & hope for the best!

      I wonder if there is Amish country in upstate NY… that would fit in our itinerary better than PA would. Do you know? And what do we *do* in Amish country exactly?
      I’ve never been. ~Allie O.

  8. mike michalski says

    Yes it would be great if you guys could go to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Lundys Lane and the lights on the falls at night are great. Also they used to have fireworks on Friday nights too.

    • says

      I think we’ll miss the fireworks by 1 day but we’ll make sure to see the lights!! Great tip! Thanks Mike! ~Allie O.

  9. Teresa Poston says

    I haven’t been up the east cost but Nashville and the surrounding area I can tell you about. If you can, take a trip to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg (my favorite). Old Appalachia and it’s beautiful. Lot’s of history from the Civil War from Nashville to west TN. There’s a tv show here on our public tv station, wkno, that has a show called Tennessee Crossroads. They go to some interesting places off the beaten path all over the state. You probably can go to and watch some of the episodes. Have fun!

    • says

      We will be doing a lot of that kind of exploring once we move to Tennessee, Teresa! Thanks for the heads-up!! ~Allie O.

      • Teresa Poston says

        You’re moving here? Welcome to the state. Must be a really good job opportunity to leave St. Augustine. Good luck and you’ll like the Nashville area. The surrounding towns, like Hendersonville, Columbia, Goodlettsville and Gallatin are all preferred places to live around Nashville. Wish I could take your place in Florida! LOL

        • says

          Believe me, it’s hard to leave St. Augustine! We truly love it here. But I’m sure there are many things to love about TN as well. I hope to be back in FL often, though! As a life-long Floridian, I’ll leave a bit of my heart behind for sure. ~Allie O.

  10. rob says

    definitely see cape may nj…gettysburg re-enactment july 4 and 5. washingtons headquarters in morristown nj. philadelphias rich history and trenton nj ..USS NJ battleship in camden.. too many ny city places to list. west point ny. lake george. finger lakes .saratoga. mystic ct..hyannis mass., all things boston.salem. more amish in ohio than anywhere else.

    • says

      We were thinking of heading upstate… perhaps we will see Lake George, etc. Thanks!!! ~Allie O

  11. Sharon m says

    Hi Allie! Im originally from Buffalo NY.. so Niagara falls is a must see! From Knoxville, it’s about 12 hours..need a passport, view is best from Canadian side. Been all over the east coast. Lived in Bel air Maryland for a few years, great to travel from cape May NJ, down the coast… Williamsburg is nice, my kids were bored. I love Litchfield SC, Murrell’s inlet sc, Ildo the road trip…kids will enjoy will you.

    • says

      Thank you, Sharon! We didn’t make it that far this time, we opted to hit every East Coast state instead and ended in Maine, but we look forward to hitting Niagra Falls sometime in the future! Took your advice on Williamsburg and passed for now… there is SO MUCH to see! Our 3 week road trip left us hungry for more! 🙂 ~Allie O.

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